Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Puccini Inspires International Love Among Airplanes In Animated Film

Love at 10,000 feet above sea-level: Canada and Mexico
Director Klay Hall (King of the Hill, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, Father of the Pride, The Simpsons) brings Planes, a spin-off the popular Cars film, to the big screen with a host of eclectic characters voiced by some of Hollywood's star players. While the main character of the film is Dusty, "a cropdusting plane with a fear of heights lives his dream of competing in a famous around-the-world aerial race," it's two of his supporters that provide the romance in this comedic adventure: El Chupacabra (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) and Rochelle (voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus). The two spot each other for the first time as the international planes arrive to begin the race around the world. As El Chupacabra admires Rochelle, the music cued under the scene is "Ancora un passo or via" from Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly. Commonly known as "Butterfly's Entrance," this operatic excerpt makes hearts swell. We're just glad the love affair between the two planes had a happier ending than that of Cio-Cio San and Pinkerton in the opera. Biographies and a scene featuring the two lovers can be found after the jump. Listen to a 1965 live performance of Pilar Lorengar singing the aria in a Munich production.

"The intensely charming El Chupacabra is a legend in Mexico (just ask him). Powered by his passion for racing (not to mention the elusive Rochelle), this caped Casanova is anything but low-key—his booming voice and charismatic presence are as big as his oversized engine. His cohorts aren’t really sure what is truth and what is delusion when it comes to El Chu, but one thing is beyond doubt: he races with a whole lot of heart and more dramatic flair than is recommended at high altitudes....Rochelle is a tough racer and the pride of the Great White North. Always confident and capable, she got her start running mail to small towns in Quebec, picking up home remedies for mechanical maladies along the way. She also developed a knack for fast travel that ultimately inspired her to give air racing a try. Rochelle never looked back (this competitive contender doesn’t need to). She is relentlessly pursued by charmer El Chupacabra (who describes her as a "sunrise after a lifetime of darkness"), but steadfast Rochelle is much too focused on winning the race to return her affections." [Source]

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